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Discuss the European motives for expansion and colonization in the New

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1. Discuss the European motives for expansion and colonization in the New World.
There are many reasons that contributed to the expansion and colonization by Europeans into the New World. Europeans believed the New World a place to practice religion without religious persecution, a place to find plentiful resources and a place to start new. Many Europeans felt that they could colonize the New World without fear of religious persecution due to English and European Reformations. Protestant Reformation began in 1517, when Martin Luther openly challenged some of the basic practices and beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church.

Martin Luther believed that salvation was possible through faith alone and not through good works or through formal practice of religion. Due to Martin Luther’s beliefs he was excommunicated by the pope in 1520. Martin Luther had many followers which lead others to offer alternatives to orthodox Catholicism. One of those was John Calvin a French theologian who believed in the doctrine of predestination or that God “elected” some people to be saved and condemned and others to damnation.

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These followers were called Calvinists and they believed that the way they lived there lives may show them their chances of salvation.

English Reformation occurred due to a political dispute between the king and pope that resulted in doctrinal revolts. In 1529 King Henry VIII broke ties with the Catholic Church because the pope refused to grant him a divorce. After breaking ties with the Catholic Church he made himself head of the Christian faith in his country. This ultimately led to the Church of England which did not satisfy most English Christians. The most ardent Protestants became “Puritans” who hoped to “purify” the church . Radical Puritans became known as Separatists and they wanted to worship as they wanted to in their own congregations which was against English law. James I believed that kings ruled by divine right and antagonized Puritans . These Puritans were rising businessmen which were taxed and not granted charters or the like. Due to the persecution many believed that colonizing in the New World would allow them freedom of religion without persecution. Another motive of expansion and colonization was mercantilism. Mercantilism was a relatively new concept and emerging throughout Europe. Mercantilism was a concept were the nation as a whole, not the individuals within it, was the principal actor in the economy . Mercantilists believed that wealth was limited and could run out therefore you should import as much as you can from other lands and export as little as you can. Due to this concept the Europeans believed it was a good idea to colonize in order to extract as much wealth from colonies and import it back. This would also allow them not to be dependent on foreign rivals. The resources coming from another land would further the wealth of their nation. Starting fresh was another motive for expansion and colonization. It was believed that a new better society would be able to be created. Many were suffering from the economy due to wars and religious persecution. In England many were finding it difficult to feed their own people due to rising populations and the enclosure movement. Due to the high demand for wool many landowners turned their land into pastures for sheep instead of land that they used to harvest crops. This made the Europeans want a fresh and new start in new lands which would not be like the ones they were use to in the Old World. There were many reasons and motives to expand and colonize the New World. Whatever the reason for leaving the Old World to colonize the New World each group had a reason and a hope for something better.

2. Describe the different colonial transplantations that occurred in Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts Bay.

There were many differences in the colonial transplantations that occurred in Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts Bay. Each colony met different hardships and obstacles as well as being led by those with different leadership which would shape how each colony would succeed.

In 1606 the London Company (later the Virginia Company) received a charter from James I to found new colonies. The London Company later sent a party of 144 men aboard 3 ships: the Godspeed, the Discovery and the Susan Constant, of which 104 survived the long trip. On the northern banks of the James River the colonists established a colony which they called Jamestown. This site was chosen very poorly and the colonists suffered from outbreaks of diseases and starvation. The original colonists were adventure seeking males and not many were willing to be laborers. Due to no females being sent to the colony they were unable to increase population which made it difficult to get work done. Also due to disease the colony was unable to sustain itself. In 1609 a new charter was signed by the king giving more power and land. A “great fleet” was sent to Jamestown with about 600 people which included women and children but again many succumbed to disease. Jamestown also began to suffer due to ongoing conflict with the local tribes. Eventually, under Lord De La Warr the colony began to survive and expand which allowed new settlements to pop up around Jamestown.

The colony of Maryland was dreamed up of by George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore. It was dreamed up to be a place where English Catholics could go as a retreat and a real estate venture. Lord Baltimore died before he could realize his dream but in 1632 his son Cecilius, the second Lord Baltimore, was able to get a charter from the king granting him and his heirs as “true and absolute lords and proprietaries”. This colony had a good relation with the neighboring tribes who traded with them, sold them land, gave them corn. This colony experienced no disease or famine. Marylanders also were assured freedom of worship to all Christians. Due to the friendly relations with tribes and lack of disease this colony did not suffer the same as those in Virginia had.

The Massachusetts Bay colony was colonized by a group of Puritans that started a new enterprise called the Massachusetts Bay Company. They were able to get a charter from Charles I granting them land which is now Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The original motives for colonization were economic but later on became a place to emigrate and make a haven for Puritans. In 1630 seventeen ships and 1,000 people commanded by John Winthrop sailed to New England. At was the largest migration at the time and quickly produced several new settlements and a colonial government in Boston. Massachusetts was in many ways a “theocracy,” a society in which the line between the church and state was hard to see. The Massachusetts Bay colony had many early difficulties but unlike Virginia there were a large number of families which allowed their populations to increase at a higher rate. The colony had a good relationship with Indian tribes which allowed them to get food and advice. The Massachusetts Bay colony was able to succeed and prosper because they were structured, had family groups and learned from mistakes of the past.

Each of these three colonies had different approaches to colonization and had different results. Although they had difficulties (some more than others) each of these colonies were able to prosper and grow.

3. What were the major sources of friction between the Indians and the English in Virginia and Massachusetts Bay?

The sources of friction between Indians and English were very similar yet different in Virginia and Massachusetts Bay. In both colonies the sources of friction were caused by land. Virginia was able to make concessions with the Powhatan Indians in the beginning but did not keep them. The Powhatan Indians requested firearms from the settlers and in return would provide food. The Powhatan’s felt they were going to be attacked by the settlers and wanted the firearms to protect themselves. No firearms were provided to the Powhatan’s which in return the Powhatan’s did not provide food to the settlers which made the entire settlement of Jamestown almost starve to death. By the spring of 1610 only 60 settlers remained in Jamestown. Between 1610 and 1611 the Virginia Company sent 1200 new settlers and took over the area by military occupation. In 1613 the English captured Pocahontas (Chief Powhatan’s daughter) converted her to the Anglican Church and in 1614 married her to John Rolfe. In 1622 the English wanted to convert Indians to the traditions of English civilizations but ended up abandoning that plan. In March of 1622 the Indians came unarmed wanting to sell goods but savagely attacking and killing 347 whites of all sexes and ages. In 1644, after another uprising that failed by Opechancanough the Powhatan’s stopped challenging the eastern regions of the colony. The major source of conflict in the Massachusetts Bay colony was from the changing attitudes of the Puritans. The Puritans started to see the Indians as “heathens” and “Savages” to which they tried to “Civilize” them to the European ways. The Indians felt that the English were trying to take control of their land which they depended on for food. Due to the population decline created by epidemic diseases it drove many Indians to war. Much of the friction appears to have been brought on by the settlers taking Indian land. Also a lot of the friction seems to be caused by the settlers in both colonies attempting to convert Indians to the ways of the European settlements.

Works Cited
Brinkley, Alan. American History Connecting with the Past Volume 1: To 1865 . New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Carlson, Elizabeth. As It Was In The Begining.

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